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WASHINGTON, DC-The US General Services Administration, the real estate arm of the federal government, has embarked on phase two of its historic lighthouse disposition program, making available as many as 20 properties to various organizations at zero cost. The ownership of lighthouses in 13 states will be up for transfer beginning later this fall.

Giving these portside outposts away is part of a program designated by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, which allows the government to hand over lighthouses and stations in an effort to safeguard the landmarks from disintegration.

“Placing these properties in the hands of non-federal owners who are able to preserve them is a win-win situation for communities and taxpayers,” says GSA Commissioner of Public Buildings Service F. Joseph Moravec. The GSA works with the US Department of the Interior, Coast Guard, and the National Park Service to determine the most appropriate stewards for the properties. Among the lighthouses that will be given away is Chesapeake Bay’s hexagonal Thomas Point Shoal, which was built in 1875.

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